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Stop! Don’t Try to Negotiate Your Offer Over Email

By | Stacey Lastoe |

Congrats! That job offer’s shiny and exciting, and you earned it. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and then take a deep breath because it’s time to…drum roll, please…negotiate!

Even though you’re 99% certain you’re going to accept the offer, you’re not about to do it without negotiating. That’s just common sense. But do you know there’s a right way to negotiate and a wrong way?

Jennifer Fink, a Muse Career Coach who works with clients often on this very thing, understands that “most people want to go for the safety of writing it in email,” but insists that it’s not only not the best route, it’s, in fact, “a bad idea.” If your goal is to make the requests (increase in salary, guaranteed flex time, additional vacation days) feel like they’re a part of an open dialogue between you and the employer—not a list of demands—email defeats the purpose.

Thus, even if the employer extends the offer letter through email (and they should, though ideally, this’ll follow a phone call), you want to be sure to initiate a phone conversation before accepting or putting anything in writing. Negotiation should be done offline.

Fink explains that it’s likely to be a short conversation. “One or both parties may need to take the information learned in the call to craft and propose a modified offer,” she says. But, let’s take a step back. Before the call, you’ll want to send a straightforward, short-and-sweet email that simply “conveys enthusiasm for the job and asks for an appropriate time to discuss a few details:

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